Book Review

Black Money

EW's GRADE
B

Details Writer: Michael Thomas; Genres: Fiction, Mystery and Thriller

In the '80s, it was greenmail. In the '90s, it's black money, that is, money that has been laundered, moved about, and otherwise cleansed of its illegal origin but still can't be considered clean. Such money, in Michael Thomas' latest Wall Street thriller Black Money, is the currency of South American druglords, a renegade presidential adviser, a government computer consultant, and the mastermind behind it all: a onetime CIA operative-turned-financial adviser who also happens to be a gorgeous, brilliant woman with a prominent nose (the nose plays a significant role). Linking them all is a clever scheme to wash their dirty money without ever resorting to offshore banking. A mid-level government operative stumbles onto a hint of the plot's existence and alerts the (female) owner of a small independent Washington newspaper, who smells a Pulitzer and calls in a (male) private investigator (with the unfortunate name of Coole). The book is a fine example of what it is — a Wall Street suspense novel — but what it is just doesn't seem that interesting anymore. B

Originally posted Jun 17, 1994 Published in issue #227 Jun 17, 1994 Order article reprints